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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

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World Peace And Gender Equality: Addressing Un Security Council Resolution 1325’S Weaknesses, Elizabeth Griffiths, Sara Jarman, Eric Talbot Jensen Feb 2021

World Peace And Gender Equality: Addressing Un Security Council Resolution 1325’S Weaknesses, Elizabeth Griffiths, Sara Jarman, Eric Talbot Jensen

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The year 2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution (“UNSCR”) 1325, the most important moment in the United Nations’ efforts to achieve world peace through gender equality. Over the past several decades, the international community has strengthened its focus on gender, including the relationship between gender and international peace and security. National governments and the United Nations have taken historic steps to elevate the role of women in governance and peacebuilding. The passage of UNSCR 1325 in 2000 foreshadowed what many hoped would be a transformational shift in international law and politics. However ...


The Stability Paradox: The Two-Parent Paradigm And The Perpetuation Of Violence Against Women In Termination Of Parental Rights And Custody Cases, Judith Lewis Feb 2021

The Stability Paradox: The Two-Parent Paradigm And The Perpetuation Of Violence Against Women In Termination Of Parental Rights And Custody Cases, Judith Lewis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Despite changing family compositions, entrenched in family law is the antiquated idea that a two-parent household, or its approximation vis-à-vis a shared custody arrangement, promotes stability and integrity and, thus, is in the best interest of the child. Yet, the concept that the two-parent household (or shared involvement of both parents in the child’s life if the parents separate) promotes stability for the family and is best for the child is a dangerous fallacy. When rape or intimate partner violence (IPV) is present, or the re-occurrence of violence remains a threat, the family unit is far from stable.

This ...


The Intersection Of Wrongful Convictions And Gender In Cases Where Women Were Sentenced To Death Or Life In Prison Without Parole, Connor F. Lang Feb 2021

The Intersection Of Wrongful Convictions And Gender In Cases Where Women Were Sentenced To Death Or Life In Prison Without Parole, Connor F. Lang

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note examines National Registry of Exonerations data and discusses the prevalence of false confessions and presence of a child victim in cases of women who were convicted of murder, received a serious sentence, and were later exonerated. After looking at the cases of women exonerated after receiving death sentences or life without parole sentences in light of the prevalence of these factors, this Note argues that examination of the cases reveals that the presence of a false confession or a child victim may have contributed to some of the wrongful convictions where these factors may have led to the ...


Resolutions Without Resolve: Turning Away From Un Security Council Resolutions To Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Emma K. Macfarlane Feb 2021

Resolutions Without Resolve: Turning Away From Un Security Council Resolutions To Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Emma K. Macfarlane

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 2008, the United Nations first recognized rape as a war crime with the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1820. Since then, the fight against conflict-related sexual violence has become a frequent subject of Security Council Resolutions. But what, if anything, has changed? Wartime sexual violence is still prevalent today and shows no signs of slowing down. This Note argues that Security Council Resolutions are not an effective method to prevent conflict-related sexual violence. The procedural weaknesses in passing Security Council Resolutions and the structure of the Security Council itself may do more harm than good to the ...


Criminal Record Relief For Human Trafficking Survivors: Analysis Of Current State Statutes And The Need For A Federal Model Statute, Ashleigh Pelto Feb 2021

Criminal Record Relief For Human Trafficking Survivors: Analysis Of Current State Statutes And The Need For A Federal Model Statute, Ashleigh Pelto

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note defines criminal record relief and analyzes the effectiveness of three state criminal record relief statutes at protecting trafficking survivors. This analysis is based on State Report Cards: Grading Criminal Record Relief Laws for Survivors of Human Trafficking by Polaris, a leading human trafficking nonprofit. It next discusses the absence of federal criminal record relief and how a statute at the federal level could provide relief for survivors with federal convictions while simultaneously providing a model for states to ensure their statutes incorporate best practices for record relief moving forward. This Note then discusses how Polaris’s report stops ...


A Feminist Economic Perspective On Contract Law: Promissory Estoppel As An Example, Orit Gan Jan 2021

A Feminist Economic Perspective On Contract Law: Promissory Estoppel As An Example, Orit Gan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Economic analysis is a highly influential theoretical approach to contract law. At the same time, feminist analysis of contract law offers an important critical approach to the field. However, feminist economics, a prominent alternative approach to mainstream neo-classical economics drawing from both economic theory and feminist theory, has only been applied scarcely and sporadically to contract law. This Article seeks to bridge this gap and to apply the key features of feminist economics to an analysis of the doctrine of promissory estoppel. This Article uses promissory estoppel as an example to demonstrate a feminist economic analysis of contract law.


A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw Jan 2021

A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this short Essay, we discuss the lack of racial and gender diversity on and around the Supreme Court. As we note, the ranks of the Court’s Justices and its clerks historically have been dominated by white men. But this homogeneity is not limited to the Court’s members or its clerks. As we explain, much of the Court’s broader ecosystem suffers from this same lack of diversity. The advocates who argue before the Court are primarily white men; the experts cited in the Court’s opinions, as well as the experts on whom Court commentators rely in ...


“Champion Man-Hater Of All Time”: Feminism, Insanity, And Property Rights In 1940s America, Magdalene Zier Jan 2021

“Champion Man-Hater Of All Time”: Feminism, Insanity, And Property Rights In 1940s America, Magdalene Zier

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legions of law students in property or trusts and estates courses have studied the will dispute, In re Strittmater’s Estate. The cases, casebooks, and treatises that cite Strittmater present the 1947 decision from New Jersey’s highest court as a model of the “insane delusion” doctrine. Readers learn that snubbed relatives successfully invalidated Louisa Strittmater’s will, which left her estate to the Equal Rights Amendment campaign, by convincing the court that her radical views on gender equality amounted to insanity and, thus, testamentary incapacity. By failing to provide any commentary or context on this overt sexism, these sources ...


Reasonableness In Hostile Work Environment Cases After #Metoo, Danielle A. Bernstein Jan 2021

Reasonableness In Hostile Work Environment Cases After #Metoo, Danielle A. Bernstein

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The #MeToo movement, a global social response to sexual harassment in the workplace, has turned the traditional approach to sexual harassment on its head. Instead of shielding perpetrators and discrediting survivors, employers, the media, and the public have begun to shift from presuming the credibility of the perpetrator to presuming the credibility of the survivor. But this upending of the status quo has occurred almost entirely in the social sphere—and the legal system, where survivors of workplace sexual harassment can seek remedies for the abuse they have suffered, is proving much slower to adapt.

While our social presumptions are ...


Putting The Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, And Pregnancy, Emma Milne Jun 2020

Putting The Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, And Pregnancy, Emma Milne

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The fetus-first mentality advocates that pregnant women and women who could become pregnant should put the needs and well-being of their fetuses before their own. As this Article will illustrate, this popular public perception has pervaded criminal law, impacting responses to women deemed to be the “irresponsible” pregnant woman and so the “bad” mother. The Article considers cases from Alabama and Indiana in the United States and from England in the United Kingdom, providing clear evidence that concerns about the behavior of pregnant women now hang heavily over criminal justice responses to women who experience a negative pregnancy outcome or ...


Symbolism Over Substance: The Role Of Adversarial Cross-Examination In Campus Sexual Assault Adjudications And The Legality Of The Proposed Rulemaking On Title Ix, Hunter Davis Jun 2020

Symbolism Over Substance: The Role Of Adversarial Cross-Examination In Campus Sexual Assault Adjudications And The Legality Of The Proposed Rulemaking On Title Ix, Hunter Davis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Traditionally, it has been understood that campus sexual assault adjudications need not take on the formalities of the justice system. Since the consequences faced in campus adjudications are considerably less than punishments faced in the justice system, less process is owed under the Due Process Clause. However, in September 2018, the Sixth Circuit reconceived what constitutes due process in campus sexual assault adjudications in the case of Doe v. Baum. The court found that in cases involving conflicting narratives at public universities, the accused or his agent must have the ability to cross-examine his accuser in the presence of a ...


Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet Jun 2020

Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Increasing social and political polarization in our society continues to exact a heavy toll marked by, among other social ills, a rise in uncivility, an increase in reported hate crimes, and a more pronounced overall climate of intolerance—for viewpoints, causes, and identities alike. Intolerance, either a cause or a consequence of our fraying networks of social engagement, is rampant, hindering our ability to live up to our de facto national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One” and prompting calls for how best to build a cohesive civil society. Within the public school—an institution conceived primarily ...


The Sexual Misconduct Of Donald J. Trump: Toward A Misogyny Report, Ruthann Robson Jun 2020

The Sexual Misconduct Of Donald J. Trump: Toward A Misogyny Report, Ruthann Robson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The numerous allegations of sexual misconduct—unwanted, unwelcome, often aggressive sexual behavior—levied against Donald Trump merit attention and redress. Despite obstacles to civil remedies, there has been some litigation, but it has mostly been unsatisfactory. The many allegations reported in the media have not been amenable to judicial, legislative, executive, or political resolution. Women, including women who allege Trump committed sexual misconduct against them when they were minors, have generally not been afforded the remedies to which they are entitled.

Because litigation and media accounts have proven inadequate to the task of addressing Trump’s sexual misconduct, there should ...


The Ground On Which We All Stand: A Conversation About Menstrual Equity Law And Activism, Bridget J. Crawford, Margaret E. Johnson, Marcy L. Karin, Laura Strausfeld, Emily Gold Waldman Mar 2020

The Ground On Which We All Stand: A Conversation About Menstrual Equity Law And Activism, Bridget J. Crawford, Margaret E. Johnson, Marcy L. Karin, Laura Strausfeld, Emily Gold Waldman

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This essay grows out of a panel discussion among five lawyers on the subject of menstrual equity activism. Each of the authors is a scholar, activist, or organizer involved in some form of menstrual equity work. The overall project is both enriched and complicated by an intersectional analysis.

This essay increases awareness of existing menstrual equity and menstrual justice work; it also identifies avenues for further inquiry, next steps for legal action, and opportunities that lie ahead. After describing prior and current work at the junction of law and menstruation, the contributors evaluate the successes and limitations of recent legal ...


Me Too? The Invisible Older Victims Of Sexual Violence, Ruthy Lowenstein Lazar Mar 2020

Me Too? The Invisible Older Victims Of Sexual Violence, Ruthy Lowenstein Lazar

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

A review of legal research on violence against women and elder abuse reveals a disturbing picture. There is hardly any American legal research examining sexual abuse of older women and its conceptualization in legal literature and treatment in the legal system.

This Article attempts to fill the abovementioned gap and to bring the hidden issue of sexual violence against older women to light. Scholars writing on rape, violence against women, and elder abuse tend to analyze age and gendered sexual violence separately from each other, without accounting for their interplay. This Article proposes a conceptual framework of sexual abuse of ...


The Plight Of Women In Positions Of Corporate Leadership In The United States, The European Union, And Japan: Differing Laws And Cultures, Similar Issues, Bettina C. K. Binder, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Niculina Nae, Cindy A. Schipani, Irina Averianova Mar 2020

The Plight Of Women In Positions Of Corporate Leadership In The United States, The European Union, And Japan: Differing Laws And Cultures, Similar Issues, Bettina C. K. Binder, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Niculina Nae, Cindy A. Schipani, Irina Averianova

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Gender diversity in corporate governance is a highly debated issue worldwide. National campaigns such as “2020 Women on Boards” in the United States and “Women on the Board Pledge for Europe” are examples of just two initiatives aimed at increasing female representation in the corporate boardroom. Several

European countries have adopted board quotas as a means toward achieving gender diversity. Japan has passed an Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace to lay a foundation for establishing targets for promoting women.

This Article examines the status of women in positions of leadership in the United ...


Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles Jan 2020

Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note argues that it is harmful and unnecessary to require women to obtain prescriptions for access to hormonal birth control. Requiring a prescription is necessarily a barrier to access which hurts women and hamstrings the ability to dictate their own reproductive plans. It is also an irrational regulation in light of the relative safety of hormonal birth control pills, particularly progestin-only formulations, compared to other drugs readily available on the shelves.

Leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, advocate for over-the-counter access to hormonal birth control. While acknowledging that not every woman will have positive ...


Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso Jan 2019

Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Marital property law reforms and changing international human rights standards in the late 20th and early 21st century prompted Kenya to end certain discriminatory practices against women, especially in the area of property rights. For 50 years, Kenya relied on England’s century-old law, the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, to regulate property rights. In 2010, Kenya adopted a new Constitution that called for equality between men and women, and in 2013, Kenya enacted independent legislation in the form of the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA). The MPA provides a basis for trial courts to divide marital property upon ...


Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard Jan 2019

Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Promoting the best interests of children and protecting their safety and well-being in the context of a divorce or parentage case where domestic violence has been alleged has become highly politicized and highly gendered. There are claims by fathers’ rights groups that mothers often falsely accuse fathers of domestic violence to alienate the fathers from their children and to improve their financial position. They also claim that children do better when fathers are equally involved in their children’s lives, but that judges favor mothers over fathers in custody cases. As a consequence, fathers’ rights groups have engaged in a ...


Contracting Around Gender Constructs: Transgender Men At Women's Colleges, Elizabeth A. Heise Jan 2019

Contracting Around Gender Constructs: Transgender Men At Women's Colleges, Elizabeth A. Heise

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As the transgender community gains increasing visibility in society, women’s colleges have begun to address new questions about who is eligible to attend. One such question is whether students who come out as transgender men after matriculation are eligible to remain enrolled and graduate from these institutions. The main claims relevant to this discussion are (1) colleges’ right to retain their identity as all-women’s institutions; (2) the parallel rights of cisgender female students who explicitly choose to attend an all-women’s institution, and (3) transgender students’ competing right to avoid arbitrary or capricious dismissal based on gender identity ...


Removing Camouflaged Barriers To Equality: Overcoming Systemic Sexual Assault And Harassment At The Military Academies, Rebecca Weiant May 2018

Removing Camouflaged Barriers To Equality: Overcoming Systemic Sexual Assault And Harassment At The Military Academies, Rebecca Weiant

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The Education Amendments of 1972 introduced requirements to protect female students from discriminatory policies at post-secondary institutions. A portion of those amendments, commonly known as Title IX, require that no students be subjected to discrimination based on their sex by any educational institution or activity receiving federal financial assistance. An exemption under § 1681(a)(4), however, explicitly prohibits application of Title IX to any educational institution whose primary purpose is to train individuals for military service or the merchant marine. Although those students are still subject to stringent conduct standards, the service academies themselves are tethered to sex discrimination policies ...


Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted May 2018

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The State of New York recently issued its first physician-certified “intersex” birth certificate, correcting a 55-year-old’s original birth certificate. This is a positive step towards eliminating the traditional binary approach to a person’s birth sex, but it creates potential uncertainties in the employment discrimination context. Over the past several years, the definition of what constitutes “discrimination on the basis of sex” has both expanded (with the legalization of same-sex marriage) and narrowed (restricting the use of gender specific bathrooms). Until recently it appeared that a broader definition of the term “sex” would become the judicial—and possibly legislative ...


Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray Jan 2018

Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This legal-literary essay engages the current social and jurisprudential moment, encapsulated by the hashtag #metoo. It focuses on the allegations, made in the first week of December 2017, that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski verbally sexually harassed former law clerks Emily Murphy and Heidi Bond. I wrote the lioness’s share of the piece during December 10–11—that is, in the days before news outlets reported that other women complained of Kozinski touching them on the thigh or breast while propositioning them for sex or discussing recent sexual encounters—and concluded that Kozinski was unlikely to ...


Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor Jan 2018

Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article consciously employs both a dignity rights-based framing and methodology. Dignity rights are those rights that are based on the Kantian assertion of “inalienable human worth.”29 This framework for defining rights spans across a number of disciplines, including medicine and human rights law.30 Disciplinary sanctions like solitary confinement or forced medication might be described as anathema to human dignity because of their degrading effect on an individual’s emotional and social well-being.

This Article relies on first-person oral histories where possible. Bioethics scholar Claire Hooker argues that including narratives in work on dignity rights “is both a ...


The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo Jan 2018

The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article explores some of the legal initiatives and reforms that opponents of same-sex marriage in Canada and the United States have pushed forward. Despite being animated by a desire to dilute the protections for same-sex couples, these reforms resulted in “queering” family law, in the sense that they functionalized the notion of family. Consequently, two cohabiting relatives or friends would be eligible for legal recognition, along with all the public and private benefits of such recognition. I term these kinds of “unions” and other nonnormative relationships to be “new families.”

The central claim of this Article is thus that ...


Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin Dec 2017

Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article introduces a novel legal paradigm—customer domination at work—to address the sexual harassment of employees by customers. This new approach challenges the prevailing paradigm, which focuses on the employer-employee binary relationship. I show how, under current Title VII law, the prevailing paradigm leads to a weaker form of employer liability than other instances where employers are liable for the sexual harassment of their employees. The protection for workers is also limited. The same is true of two other legal regimes discussed in the Article: Germany and Britain. More importantly, I argue that the prevailing paradigm precludes a ...


Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein Dec 2017

Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Imagine yourself tasked to speak for a few minutes about legal controls on sex-selling in the United States, or any other country you choose. You need not have thought about the particulars. As someone willing to read a law review article, you have enough to say because sex-selling overlaps with the subject knowledge you already have. Criminal law, contracts, employment law, immigration law, tort law, zoning, commercial law, and intellectual property, among other legal categories, all intersect with this topic. In your brief remarks on how law attempts to mediate the sale and purchase of sex, you have only one ...


Running From The Gender Police: Reconceptualizing Gender To Ensure Protection For Non-Binary People, Katie Reineck Dec 2017

Running From The Gender Police: Reconceptualizing Gender To Ensure Protection For Non-Binary People, Katie Reineck

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Non-binary people who are discriminated against at work or school are in a unique and demoralizing position. Not only have some courts expressed reluctance to use existing antidiscrimination law to protect plaintiffs who are discriminated against based on their gender identity and not simply because they are men or women, in most states non-binary genders are not legally recognized. I argue that a fundamental right to self-identification grounded in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment would provide non-binary plaintiffs with the ability to assert their gender in court and have that assertion carry legal weight, regardless of how ...


A Relational Feminist Approach To Conflict Of Laws, Roxana Banu Jan 2017

A Relational Feminist Approach To Conflict Of Laws, Roxana Banu

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Feminist writers have long engaged in critiques of private law. Surrogacy contracts or the “reasonable man” standard in torts, for example, have long been the subjects of thorough feminist analysis and critique. When private law issues touch on more than one jurisdiction, Conflict of Laws is the doctrine that determines which jurisdiction can try the case and—as separate questions—which jurisdiction’s law should apply and under what conditions a foreign judgment can be recognized and enforced. Yet, there are virtually no feminist perspectives on Conflict of Laws (also known as Private International Law). This is still more surprising ...


Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck Jan 2017

Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article addresses an issue critical to forty-one percent of fathers in the United States: prenatal abandonment. Under prenatal abandonment theory, fathers can lose their parental rights to non-marital children if they do not provide prenatal support to the mothers of their children. This is true even if the mothers have not notified the fathers of the pregnancy and if the mothers or fathers are unsure of the fathers’ paternity. While this result may seem counterintuitive, it is necessitated by demographic trends. Prenatal abandonment theory has been structured to protect mothers, fathers, and fetuses in response to a number of ...